Ebola vaccination campaign to begin in Congo

Authorities will begin distributing an experimental Ebola vaccine in Mbandaka, a major city in the Democratic Republi...

Posted: May 23, 2018 1:32 PM
Updated: May 23, 2018 1:32 PM

Authorities will begin distributing an experimental Ebola vaccine in Mbandaka, a major city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Monday to try to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Healthcare workers in Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province and home to 1.2 million people, will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by contacts of confirmed Ebola cases, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Tarik Ja-arevi- said.

The vaccination drive is expected to reach rural Bikoro, the epicenter of the outbreak, by Thursday.

The confirmation of the first case in Mbandaka last week has raised concerns that the virus could spread faster than expected. So far, 26 people have died in the outbreak, according to the WHO.

The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, will likely be distributed to some 8,000 to 10,000 people in its first phase, Peter Salama, deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response at the WHO, said Friday.

It will be given to people who have had contact with people infected with Ebola and contacts of those contacts, Salama said.

"We're much better placed to deal with this outbreak than we were in 2014," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ebola is a highly infectious virus which causes a sudden onset of symptoms including fever, fatigue and muscle pain within two to 21 days after infection. Patients suffer vomiting, rash and diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function -- and in some cases internal and external bleeding.

An outbreak in 2014 in West Africa killed more than 11,000 people in months.

Experimental vaccine

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine was previously given to people in contact with patients who had confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea in 2015 and 2016, and proved quite effective.

But this will be the first time the vaccine is being employed to control the spread of Ebola, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States.

The WHO has already deployed more than 5,000 doses of the experimental vaccine in Kinshasa, the country's capital, with thousands more expected to arrive.

46 cases reported

Of the 46 cases of hemorrhagic fever identified by authorities, 21 confirmed have been confirmed as Ebola, while 21 are probable and 4 are suspected, according to Ja-arevi-.

The WHO said Friday that there has been one confirmed case in Mbandaka. DRC Health Minister Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga said the discovery of the case in Mbandaka was particularly worrisome, as the Ebola virus is highly contagious once victims start showing symptoms.

Nine neighboring countries, including Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic, have been advised that they are at high risk of spread and have been supported with equipment and personnel.

The World Health Organization held an emergency meeting Friday and declared that the situation is not yet a so-called Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is expected to address the annual world Health Assembly on Monday and is expected to discuss the outbreak.

The US Agency for International Development has already given $1 million to fight the Ebola outbreak.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 343505

Reported Deaths: 7543
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23932444
DeSoto23229283
Harrison20527329
Rankin15411291
Jackson15232252
Madison10959227
Lee10719179
Jones9047169
Forrest8723159
Lauderdale7884244
Lowndes7054151
Lamar702989
Lafayette6548124
Washington5595139
Pearl River5196152
Bolivar4954134
Oktibbeha494398
Panola4771112
Warren4728128
Marshall4701106
Pontotoc447773
Union433279
Monroe4330137
Neshoba4281181
Hancock428088
Lincoln4176116
Pike3667113
Leflore3627125
Tate353388
Alcorn350974
Sunflower347694
Scott341176
Adams340988
Yazoo339376
Copiah324968
Simpson322891
Itawamba314680
Coahoma314085
Tippah306568
Prentiss298863
Covington293484
Leake285475
Marion284181
Wayne277543
George272251
Grenada269488
Newton262364
Tishomingo239770
Winston236784
Jasper230648
Stone229637
Attala226373
Chickasaw219060
Holmes200174
Clay197654
Clarke186880
Tallahatchie183742
Calhoun181332
Smith179235
Yalobusha171540
Walthall145748
Lawrence142826
Greene140134
Amite137543
Noxubee135235
Perry133538
Montgomery133044
Carroll126431
Webster121232
Jefferson Davis116734
Tunica114227
Benton106725
Claiborne105331
Kemper102429
Humphreys100133
Franklin87923
Quitman84719
Choctaw82619
Wilkinson78032
Jefferson71328
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 587405

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson853851591
Mobile48932864
Madison37517533
Shelby27280257
Tuscaloosa27171465
Montgomery26172627
Baldwin25399329
Lee17224181
Calhoun15401334
Morgan15170291
Etowah14954370
Marshall13116235
Houston12077293
Elmore10915219
St. Clair10763252
Limestone10725158
Cullman10546205
Lauderdale10255254
DeKalb9508192
Talladega8949188
Walker7793288
Autauga7563114
Jackson7400117
Blount7362139
Colbert6703142
Coffee6365132
Dale5650117
Russell480243
Chilton4771117
Covington4749125
Franklin458181
Tallapoosa4519156
Escambia441383
Chambers3949125
Dallas3743163
Clarke371263
Marion3463107
Pike332579
Lawrence3263100
Winston298773
Bibb290465
Geneva283983
Marengo262467
Barbour250961
Pickens245562
Butler240872
Hale235578
Fayette227065
Henry213945
Monroe202141
Randolph201144
Cherokee199248
Washington185239
Macon170552
Crenshaw168358
Clay166259
Cleburne161345
Lamar151038
Lowndes145455
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh121332
Coosa118329
Perry110528
Sumter110333
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
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The heat wave that controlled our area over the past several days is now behind us. The forecast for the next week looks a bit cooler & less humid.
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